Ronald+Joy

When I look at my four sisters,

I really don’t know how I ever survived childhood.

Ha ha.

So much has changed, but we’re still a big hot mess. 

And I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. 

There’s no way I can explain or describe the dynamics of each relationship I have with each sister, but I’ll tell you this:

They’re individually so different in their own right.

And I love each one so much.

Today, it’s all about my our baby sister, Joy.

This girl. 

We used to “hate” one another … like big sisters versus little sisters do.

Just ask our group of girlfriends growing up.

She’s exactly 1 year and 11 days younger than me.

Room, clothes, friends, and the list goes on…

We were forced to share everything with much resentment. 

Everything.

This only added to our annoyance for the other.

And now thinking back on it, I never ever ever thought in a million years that I would be sad to share her. 

Like what? How did that happen?

Y’all, my baby sister is a married woman now.

Witnessing her during this whole marriage process was more emotional than I ever thought possible.

Listening to her talk about her soon-to-be husband with so much love, care, and utmost consideration was a prideful experience for me.

For me, the best thing about being a big sister is watching your little sister grow up in all ways possible.

Joy likes to say “Sisters by birth, but best friends by choice” and I couldn’t agree with her more.

I’m so proud to be her big sister.

My family likes to joke that she got lucky with Ronald, but I know the truth.

And it’s the truth that Ronald married a sweet and caring soul who puts those she loves at the top of her priority list.

I know Ronald is at the very top and just know they’re in for a lifetime of happiness.

So Joy asked me to handletter a few signs for the reception.

They turned out a lot better than expected.

Their florists from The Petaler Co did such a beautiful job executing Joy’s vision by incorporating natural arrangements of florals and greenery at the reception hall. 

Look at that gorgeous flower wall!

*A little hint for later on*

So when you have two crafty sisters,

Y’all remember Jill right?

Ms. CEO of OMAC?!

…it can be confusing for the two of them on certain responsibilities they each have.

Example Numero Uno: Bridal hangers.

Jill and I both thought the other would take it upon herself to make Joy a bridal hanger.

She looked at me and I looked at her when the photographers asked if there were nicer hangers…

Um no.

We both forgot.

But I was not going to just call it an “honest mistake” and continue putting on my makeup.

I quickly rushed around the cottage rental in search for prettier hangers or pretty ribbon.

Nothing.

I remember holding a plain metal hanger we happened to find laying around.

And then looking at Joy’s beautiful bouquet…also remembering the gorgeous flower wall  being set up from the day before.

Freakin’ lightbulb went off.

I hastily told the photographers to give me 15 minutes and bolted out the door.

Yep, that’s me collecting leaves to embellish the metal hanger.

I was determined to give my baby sister a one-of-a-kind bridal hanger.

She loved it!

I saw some palm leaves and remembered my paint pens I packed in my makeup bag for “just in case”.

I live for opportunities like this.

WithJules made me confident enough that day to pull off these lovely details (on short notice).

Thank you both Joy and Ronald for letting me be part of your beautiful day!

I’ll end this post with my sweet family.

Thank you for reading and following along,

with me

Jules.

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Phamtastic Together [Part 3]

Um yeah. I’ll just let most of the pictures explain.

We danced to “Oceans” by Hillsong and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

My brother-in-law Lou recorded most of it and I’ll admit that I’ve watched it at least once a day so far. My favorite thing is actually watching my Mom’s reaction in the background. She was loving our first dance so much and looked so tickled with joy. Totally worth it.

I rushed straight to the restroom after our Father-Daughter dance, collapsed on a chair, and bawled my eyes out. Ngoc came in right after and asked if I was okay. I reassured her between my sobs that they were just “happy tears”. She smiled and said she understood because she knew how much my Daddy meant to me.  We asked everyone to “take a break” and sing along with us. The song was “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. It was ahhhhmazing! I highly recommend stopping your wedding to belt out a favorite song.kj-803

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kj-820 kj-847 kj-763 Please note one of our groomsmen, who I shall not name, in the background. Now look at the photo below. kj-784 kj-773 kj-749kj-710kj-681

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And I would do it all over again. Best. Day. Ever. 

And crazy thing is life has only gotten better and better.

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Phamtastic Together [Part 2]

This church is special to us. Khang actually asked me to be his girlfriend on the front steps of this church after mass on June 25, 2005. Who knew we’d be married 11 years later? Not us, we almost broke up during the first week of dating! It’s seen Khang and I flourish under its roof at many different stages in our relationship. In theory, our church and its community watched us grow. I remember the priest telling me once to practice “humility” in showing my affection with Khang and recall the nun bribing Khang to play the role as Joseph because I was Mary in a Christmas play. Oh those were the days.

I think some might feel nervous about having a church full of people focused on them the entire time, but I felt very comfortable up at that alter. I think it’s because Khang and I had been up there  together multiple times before.

The ceremony was a blur. However, during our profession of love there was a short, clear, and vivid moment when I looked up to see Khang’s eyes welling up with tears. It was only a glance and I later asked him about it. He admitted he was on the verge of tears and tried very hard to not blink so they wouldn’t fall down his face. Khang is not one for public emotion. So I was pretty happy to catch him when I did.

I finished my profession of love at around 4am the day of the wedding. Not because I procrastinated! I found the right words to say that morning…I guess all the emotions and realizations finally hit me. Here’s what I remember:

“Khang,

Words cannot describe how blessed I am to have found you before finding myself.

My heart has not been still since age 15 because of your crazy and beautiful love.

Growing up together has allowed our relationship to evolve. The truth is…our love…has and will always be changing.

Because our love isn’t just an emotion but a continuous thread of actions towards one common goal. I used to think this goal was to make you happy. But I was wrong.

I learned from Day One of Marriage Preparation that my job from this day on as your wife is to make sure you make it into heaven by the grace of God when the time comes.

Now this means many things, but I’m overwhelmed by the thought that I get to love you as much as God loves you.

I know it won’t be easy. Rest assured, I’m ready.

I’m ready to…

Help you grow,

Help you explore,

Help you discover.

Because with every passing day you my dearest only get better with age and with that so does our love and our relationship towards God.

And I know with His guidance,

our love knows no limits.

You are my greatest adventure Mr. Pham and I look forward to continuing this beautiful life we’ve created together thus far.”

Or something like that. Yes, all from memory. I’ll never forget it.

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After our ceremony, things just started rolling.

The bestest wedding party giving our very bestest attempt at “serious faces”. Naaaaaaailed it. Maybe. Still waiting on video.

But no joke, this group of beautiful people did an hour-long photo/videoshoot in summer weather. In formal attire. In June. In the South y’all.

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Up next was the reception. Or what I like to think…a series of epic dancing proportions.

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